Introductory Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
Introduction: Inevitably there will be objections to any person that claims that God has preserved his word throughout all ages. This opposition comes not only from unbelievers, but also from many believers who are unknowingly Bible agnostics. We should expect this opposition. No matter how much evidence is presented, there will always be some detractor that continues to bring objections. Let's now consider a few of these objections.
Objection 1: The KJV Only camp is not scholarly?
- Silly! We have already had 3 lessons on the evidence.
- Ad Hominem: When people can't win their argument or disprove your evidence they then attack you.
- Most books written in support of the Textus Receptus and the KJV are by men with a PhD. Also, the Trinitarian Bible Society is a very respected society of scholars.
- Though believing in the superiority of the Textus Receptus and the KJV is scholarly, God didn't make scholars the pillar and ground of the truth. God commissioned the Church to be the custodians of the truth throughout all ages. See 1 Timothy 3:15, Jude 3.
Objection 2: King James was a homosexual?
- King James himself didn't translate a single word of the KJV.
- The reports about King James being a homosexual started in 1650, 25 years after King James had passed away. Report started by Anthony Weldon, a man that had been excluded from the Translation committee. Source: The Bible Answer Book by Sam Gipp
- The above report was mostly ignored until common era.
Objection 3: Erasmas back translated from the Latin Vulgate for the last few verses of Revelation?
- This argument usually comes from men trying to throw out their intellectual prowess. This argument fails when you consider the evidence. Let's look at two quotes from Erasmus:
“However, at the end of this book, I found some words in our versions which were lacking in the Greek copies, but we added them from the Latin.” End Quote
- “At the end of the Apocalypse, the manuscript I used (I had only one, for the book is rarely found in Greek) was lacking one or two lines. I added them, following the Latin codices. They were of the kind that could be restored out of the preceding text. Thus, when I sent the revised copy to Basel, I wrote to my friends to restore the place out of the Aldine edition; for I had not yet bought that work. They did as I instructed them. What, I ask you, do I owe to Lee in this case? Did he himself restore what was missing? But he had no text except mine. Ah, but he warned me! As if I had not stated in the annotations of the first edition what I had done and what was missing.” End Quote
- As you can see, Erasmas clarifies that the portion of Revelation in question came from the Greek text.
- Further evidence: Why would he back translate in Revelation when he didn't for 1 John 5:7 in his first two editions?
Objection 4: The KJV is not from the oldest and best manuscripts?
- The oldest is not always best. This argument actually tries to force a person to choose one of two extremes. This logical fallacy is called the horns of dilemma and/or the excluded middle.
- Think about this, what books last longest on your own book shelf? The ones used less, of course? Why have the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus lasted so long? Because the aren't the text that was used by the church throughout all ages.
- Erasmus had an ample supply of manuscripts to choose from. He even had the availability to use the Vaticanus but rejected it for the same reasons that Textus Receptus and KJV advocates reject it to this day.
Objection 5: The KJV we read today is not the KJV of 1611. It is the last in a long line of revisions?
- The so called revisions and thousands of changes are actually editions that have had font changes, fixed printing errors, and brought spelling standardization.
- 1612 Font type change
- 1629 and 1638 Fixed printing errors
- 1762 and 1769 gave the standardized spelling
- Admittedly, there are 400 Textual changes. How do we address those changes?
- 72% (288) of the 400 “errors” were corrected by 1638, 27 years after 1611. What does this tell us? It tells us that these errors and changes were fixing printing errors. So they weren't changes per say, but were corrections getting the text back to what it originally was in the 1611 translation. I would contend that all of the changes were actually fixing printing errors. The changes were as simple as “this thing” to “this thing also” and “For this cause” to “And for this cause”.
- Printing can be hazardous, consider this example: there were 100 textual differences between both editions printed by Oxford in 1611. Same printer printed twice in 1611 and there were differences. What's my point? Even the same printing press printing at different times of the same year couldn't keep their efforts consistent.
- Are new translations in the same family of editions of the KJV? Many newer translation claim this privilege. Is it true? No. Again, the KJV has not had different revisions. These new translations have different manuscripts and substantially more changes.
- 60,000 changes in the NKJV. 150 times more than 375 years of the KJV editions.
- Read "The King James Version of 1611. The Myth of Early Revisions” by Dr. David F. Reagan for a full detailed defense against this objection.
Objection 6: The KJV is in Old English?
- Modern English began in 1485, well before 1611. (Old English 450-1150, Middle English 1150-1485)
- Our English syntax is the same of the KJV. Only the lexicon has changed. So go buy a dictionary.
- Remember, the pronouns in the KJV are there for a reason.
- The Biblical way of handling archaic words is found in 1 Samuel 9:9, “(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)”
- I would also add that we should be careful not to correct the KJV while clarifying, or defining seemingly archaic words with Greek lexicons and dictionaries. I love Greek and English dictionaries and find them invaluable to my studies. Yet they are there to help me best define terms and articulate my explanation. They should not be used to correct the English. Why? I remind you, those 54 scholars knew Greek and were providentially blessed of God to translate the KJV. We simply look up words in a Strong's Concordance. I would advise all KJV Bible students to primarily use the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Edited by C.T. Onion) and/or a Webster's 1828, and let Greek resources be used for word studies and for greater clarity in articulating the established English. No dictionary, whether English or Greek, is divinely inspired. We should let the Bible primarily speak for itself with the aid of dictionaries and lexicons.
Objection 7: Jesus didn't use the KJV?
- This is true, but we contend that the KJV is Christ's inspired words providentially preserved into English.
Straw man argument. This objection ignores both the divine preservation and the issue of manuscripts.
Turning this argument around to those who give it, would Christ use their preferred version if he were present in an English speaking country? Would he use versions that use profanity and use language that would make a pastor blush? Would he use versions that deny his divinity and virgin birth? Would God use versions that water down the sovereignty of God in salvation?
- I acknowledge that there are different kinds of KJV Only. Some would contend that the KJV is the only Bible to be used by anyone of any language. I would lovingly disagree. I contend that the KJV is God's preserved word for English speaking people. He certainly has the right, and ability to bless other non-English translations that come from the Majority Text. The TBS actually works to make that possible. With that said, I can only speak concerning the KJV which I believe to be God's preserved word in English.
- Note: Other translations can work like dictionaries and commentaries in giving the general sense of a text, but never to the exclusion, or correction, of the more perfect rendering in the KJV.
Final thoughts: There is always a good answer to every objection. But at the end of the day, the power of God's word does not depend on our ability to defend the KJV. Our trust is not in our answers, it's in the promise of God to preserve his word.
Information found in these study notes are derived from the following sources:
Crowned with Glory by Dr. Thomas Holland
The Bible Answer Book by Dr. Sam Gipp
An Understandable History of the Bible by Dr. Sam Gipp
One Book Stands Alone by Dr. Douglas Stauffer
The King James Version of 1611. The Myth of Early Revisions by Dr. David F. Reagan